Monday, April 27, 2009

Fox's Atomic Implosion

If you've been reading THE BEAT or VARIETY you've heard that Fox Studios has shut down its genre film and comic division FOX ATOMIC leaving SCREEN GEMS to be the only lower- budget genre division at a studio (SONY).

And this is a good thing. Here's why:

"Fox would rather make ‘Wolverine' than a Fox Atomic film," the executive says. "They don't need a $50 million earner. It's not worth their time."

A similar sentiment was echoed when Relativity snatched up Rogue back in the fall for what was considered a bargain price. At the time, an insider to the deal said that Universal's parent company General Electric would rather sell low, pocket the cash and move Rogue's overhead off its books. After all, while the division reliably turned a profit, it barely made a dent in GE's bottom line."

$50M is not worth their time. Wow.

Studios are too big as it is. They say they have to trim the overhead. Okay - so have indie suppliers create profitable genre product out-of-house and have the studios concentrate on what they're good at - distribution to theaters and television.

On the other end of the spectrum, people are always (rightfully) asking: "Well, this internet thing is good but can you run a business? Is there enough profit there?"

The answer is yes. Because for the most part you're doing a lot of the distribution and marketing functions yourself. Your overhead is low, your distribution points are many, your revenue is varied (ads, merchandise, seminars, speaking engagements, consultancy, multimedia licensing). So while you can't run a "studio" via the web (yet) - you can run a small operation that pays for everything in your own backyard.

Gee, making a living making media. Who'd a thunk it?


Unknown said...

I would like $50 million dollars.

Duane Spurlock said...

This sort of decision-making by the studios is what helped wreck the book-publishing biz: Go for the blockbusters, ditch the middle catalog, give new writers only one or two books to breakthrough before cutting 'em loose. The day of the B-movie is past in Hollywood, it seems.